Wednesday, 2 May 2012

MIA: Ramblings from my UK and French sick bed

Apparently it was my birthday on Sunday.  I didn't really notice from my bed.

I started feeling ill on Wednesday (after a week of muscle tenderness that I put down to doing too much exercise too soon, but who knows now!) and took Thursday off work to try and sleep off the fever, shivers and aching bones.  I felt okish on Friday, and with the long weekend in the UK looming, I decided to go to work and plough through the day up to my eyeballs on paracetamol taking the edge off it.

We had planned to go to the UK last weekend for 3 reasons:  One, it was my bday and it's always nice to see my parents for that.  Two, it was a long weekend in France due to the bank holiday on May 1st, Three: We'd been researching interior doors and decided to buy a couple in the UK, and the doors were delivered last week to my parents house, so we decided to hire a van to collect them.  I will talk about Doorgate in a future post.

Anyway, the UK is going through the wettest drought in history.  In some places there are hosepipe bans whilst at the same time, we are experiencing the most rainfall in April/May ever.  There are flood barriers in place and rivers are ready to burst their banks.  The problem is that the reservoirs are dry from a very dry two previous winters meaning the constant heavy rain at the moment isn't doing much.

It rained the whole weekend, and I mean, poured down.  It took me back to being a child in my bed, with the duvet pulled up around me, listening to the rain on the roof and windows.....

By Sunday, my actually birthday, I was feeling terrible and I must say, really really sorry for myself.  I had a fever, my neck was swollen, I had a swollen face too and numb lips! With all the other usual symptoms, blocked nose, sore throat etc, I also had the feeling I was hosting an Olympic swimming event in my head.  I was on maximum paracetamol and ibuprofen daily amounts and was planning on sitting it out.

I also felt rather unloved if I'm honest concerning my birthday.  I love Facebook, but it has made people REALLY lazy, and I'm guilty of this too I suppose.  No one knew I was in the UK, but yet, I had only 2 text messages and no one called me to say hello! J also didn't help, only a peck on the cheek as my bday wish!  I guess the sight of me didn't inspire much! I didn't have the energy to get on the computer so only read the FB messages today.  'I hope you had a good day etc etc....haha!  errr, no, in fact I didn't!  I tried my best when I was at home.  After all, I was blessed to be with my parents (who always know how to look after you the best when you're sick!) and J.  The main people in my life, the only people in my life really.  Moving to another country sorts out your friends real and proper!  and it's saddening to realise they've all forgotten you when it comes to events like birthdays.

Mum sent me to our local Dr the morning we were leaving to go back to France and after an eternal wait, I was prodded and given this :

Needless to say, the 7 hour journey back to France was not the most pleasant.  I shed tears as our van drove out of my parents street.  I just didn't want/need the journey and I certainly did not want to go back to work the day after.  J told me that it was the quietest journey ever.  I hardly spoke, we just held hands as J drove us back.  We got back at 10pm and I promptly went to bed

This morning, I mustered the energy to get up, dressed and out to work. One look at me and my boss sent me home.  Let's face it, I'm not a pretty sight or much use right now.

I decided to go to the Drs and ask for the holy grail of the sick note.  My Dr is on holiday, and I almost cried when I read this on the door.  Plan B, find another Dr in town.  I managed after much walking about (why is it always like energy, need medication, feel terrible, must walk in the rain a loooong way.  oh yea, it's raining in France too) and when he saw the medication I was given in the UK, he said, and I quote ' you're joking ' followed by ' there lust have been a mistake at the pharmacy' followed by 'I knew things were bad in the UK, but this?' followed by a five minute Q&A session about the UK health system.  It appears that the antibiotics I was given in the UK are suitable for a child of 12kg and not what I should have got at all, in fact, according to the French Dr, it would be more likely to make me immune to antibiotics and not cure my infections at all.

So, after being prodded and examined, I got this:

Spot the difference, much?!  I am not at all condemning the UK health system, which I think is marvellous on the whole, but I would just like to point out the differences!  The French Dr changed my antibiotic treatment immediately and gave me things to take for my symptoms.  You all know that they like giving out boxes of stuff in France and I know there is a lot of wastage in the health system, sometimes I agree that it is unnecessary, but I can't help wondering why there was a big difference in the treatment.  Is is cultural (although I think French people on the whole are more concerned about 'overdosing' on medication than in the UK, where people will happily take paracetamol etc etc for nothing at all), or maybe because in Wales prescriptions are free, they don't give you much?  In France I'll get reimbursed 70% by the government and 30% by my private health cover or mutuelle.  I don't really think it is much more expensive, we just pay for the services differently.  I honestly don't want to say that France is better, but it's flagrant there is a huge difference in treatment and I do wonder why the UK doctor gave me something for children?!

After all that action that I wasn't expecting, I was also written a sick note that signed me off until Monday, hopefully I can start feeling normal again.  I am still puffy and numb (hey my wrinkles aren't showing as much right?!) and the swimming pool in still in my head along with the other symptoms that we all love to hate when you've got a virus or something or other.  I'm also still incredibly sleepy and I NEVER nap in the day normally.

It's taken all day to write this post, so I'll just say 'à bientôt'.  On the plus side, if I don't fall asleep during the episodes, I can catch up on season 8 of Greys Anatomy!  I wish Dr Avery was my Dr! 

I hope you're feeling better than I am, I will soon be back with you!  Happy Birthday to all us Taureans, please have a drink for me if you're celebrating! 


Crystal said...

aww what a sad way to spend your birthday :( I couldn't imagine driving back from the UK to France feeling like that. Take advantage of that arrêt maladie and rest up. My birthday is next Thursday, so I'll drink for the both of us ;)

Bisous and feel better soon! xx

Andromeda said...

Oh dear, I hope you feel better very soon! I can imagine how very un-fun the weekend must have been, but at least now you can be sure, every other birthday will definitely be better than this one!

It's taken me 4 years, but I am now much more comfortable taking any and all drugs the doctor wants to give me when I'm sick, lol. I do only try to go when I'm verrry sick though, to balance it out!

philippa_moore said...

Oh honey, that sounds utterly hideous. Being sick on your birthday is the worst. I had bronchitis on my 11th birthday and it sucked...luckily my party had been 2 days earlier :P

Mine is on the 26th so I'll have a drink for you then! And promise me once you're feeling better you'll have another birthday celebration to make up for it :) xx

Canedolia said...

Hope you get well soon!

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